Archive for the ‘2011 Favorites’ Category
The dictionary defines â€śinvertedâ€ť as reversed, upturned, and this aptly describes the goings on, again and again in John Daltonâ€™s latest novel, The Inverted Forest, an impressive follow-up to his award winning debut, HEAVEN LAKE. That the two stories are quite diverse in setting and subject serves the reader well, as HEAVEN LAKE, set in Taiwan and China, was one of those wondrous, luminous novels difficult to surpass. THE INVERTED FOREST takes place in 1996 in a rural Missouri summer camp, a sun-dappled, bucolic environment that still manages to impart a sense of subliminal unease.
September 21, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 1990s, developmentally disabled, Greed & Corruption, Handicap, Loss, Loyalty, Missouri, Scribner, Summer Camp Â· Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Contemporary, Literary
When does the heartfelt convictions of one solitary man negate the jointly held consensus of the rest of any civic society?
That is the question posed at the center of Aravind Adigaâ€™s audacious new novel, an impressive and propulsive examination of the struggle for a slice of prime Mumbai real estate. It is a worthy follow-up to Adigaâ€™s Booker Prize novel, WHITE TIGER, as he goes back to the well to explore the changing face of a rapidly growing India.
LIGHTNING PEOPLE is an electrifying book, a high voltage tightrope of five 30-something characters that are walking the edge in the post 9/11 New York City. Itâ€™s a book about true connections, missed connections and downright parasitic connections. Its energy strikes and surges randomly, briefly illuminating, sometimes plunging back into the darkness. And by the end, it leaves the reader rubbing eyes as he or she emerges back into a transformed light.
September 19, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 21st-Century, Life's Moments, Post 9/11, Soft Skull Press Â· Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Character Driven, Contemporary, Debut Novel, New York City
BIRDS OF PARADISE by Diana Abu-Jaber is a richly layered and beautifully written novel. It is akin to an archeological dig â€“ each layer uncovering unexpected treasures. The book begins five years before Hurricane Katrina hit and ends during its aftermath.
Danish Detective Carl Morck is a walking tormented shell of his former self. Recently returned to work, he is living with post-traumatic stress disorder following an incident that ended with the shooting death of one of his colleagues and a shot that paralyzed his friend, Detective Hardy. Morck was also injured by a shot to the head. So far the perpetrators have not been found and Morck lives with survivorâ€™s guilt. He is difficult to get along with, often late to work, and no longer has his heart in his work.
Perhaps itâ€™s entirely appropriate that their last name is Fang. For Caleb and Camille are truly parasitesâ€”sucking the blood out of their children, while using them primarily in the service of their art. â€śKids kill art,â€ť the elder Fangsâ€™ mentor once told them. Determined to prove him wrong, Caleb and Camille incorporate Annie and Buster, their two children, into their artâ€”even referring to them as Child A and Child B, mere props in the various performance art sketches they carry out.